Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Vegetables

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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These panini press you have hiding in your kitchen cabinets are not just for making a panini sandwiches, they are an amazing tool to use as a grill, last night I used it to grill vegetables and I often use it to grill steaks or chicken.

Last night dinner, grilled vegetables and slow cooker chicken…

I am having an unlimited vegetables and protein for the next 14 days of detox to lose a few pounds!

Healthy and delicious grilled vegetables in ten minuets.

Here is how i made them…

1 extra large zucchini

1 extra large squash

2 large orange sweet bell pepper or any color you have on hands

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Healthy cooking spray

Preheat the panini grill.

Cut up the squash and zucchini to round slices, about two inches thick each.

Cut the bell pepper to big chunks, I used orange bell pepper I think orange, yellow or red ones are sweeter than the green.

Spray the panini grill with cooking spray and line the vegetables side by side, sprinkles with salt and pepper.

Close the lid and grill for 1-2 minuets, I like my vegetables to have a bite to them.

Some of these panini machines have a cold and hot spots, If needed flip the vegetables to reach your desired doneness.

Grilling the vegetables longer than 1-2 minuets will turn them in to a mushy mess!

Serve with steak or chicken or any protein you like, I served it with my delicious Fiesta chicken but I did not add the sauce on my chicken this time.

Enjoy!!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recently I became a big fan of Spaghetti squash, its a healthy alternative to regular pasta.

I was really skeptical about it and about how would it taste with pasta sauce, and I always wondered what was the rave about it….but I became a believer once I had a taste of it.

Trying to have a healthy lifestyle made me try and experiment with food that I never thought of eating, but I been feeling good about choosing the healthier food for me and my family…

The first time I tried spaghetti squash was the frozen kind that I bought at the grocery store but I thought to my self it would taste a whole lot better if I make it at home and thats when I became a big fan of this delicious healthy food !

This is how I made them

Preheat oven to 440

2 large spaghetti squash

Healthy cooking spray

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Wash and dry the squash.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum paper (easy clean up), spray with cooking spray and set aside.

Cut the washed spaghetti squash in half, scope out the seeds and discard.

Spray the squash with cooking spray and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper.

Bake face down for 40-55 minuets..

Turn face up and bake for additional 10 minuets, I like them to have a chard top it adds smoky taste to the dish!

After baking let it cool for 15-20 minuets.

With a fork scrap out the inside of the squash to a bowl and you will have a delicious spaghetti ready to devour…

I packed the squash in small freezer bags to keep on hand when I need it, cheaper and healthier than the store bought version!

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Focaccia Bread

Slow Cooker Focaccia Bread

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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I love baking bread, but sometimes it is too hot to turn the oven on, or I have to go out shopping.

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For the past few months, I been trying to utilize the use of my slow cooker more in my cooking and baking.

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I wanted to bake bread yesterday but I had to go out shopping so I used my slow cooker, and it worked, bread was delicious and full of flavor.

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I added fresh herbs and olive oil, it is the easiest bread I ever made!

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Make the dough and let it rise for 40 minutes turn on the slow cooker and off you go.

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Walking in to the house the smell was intoxicating, smell of fresh baked bread, herbs and olive oil filled up the house.

.2 cups hot milk

.4 cups bread flour

.2 tbsp. yeast

.1/2 tbsp. salt

.2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

.2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

.2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

.2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

.4 tbsp. olive oil divided

.1 tbsp. honey

Line the insert of the slow cooker with parchment paper, making sure the side are covered, spray with vegetable spray and set aside.

In to a stand mixer bowl with the flat beater attachment add hot milk, honey, and yeast, mix until its combined, let it stand for 5 minutes.

Turn the mixer on slow; add the flour little at a time, add salt and the mixture of herbs, let it mix for 3 minutes.

Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil and mix for another 3 minutes.

The dough will be sticky.

With a bench scraper, scope the dough directly in to the slow cooker insert, speared with clean hands.

Cover with the slow cooker lid, and let it rise without turning the cooker on for 45 minutes.

After the dough is rising, brush the top with the remaining olive oil, cover it with clean kitchen towel, cover with the slow cooker lid, folding the side of the towel up on to the lid.

Turn on the slow cooker to the low setting, and bake for 3 hours.

Do not lift the lid or remove the towel until the 3 hours are up so the steam won’t escape.

Remove the bread by holding the parchment paper from both sides, let it cool on cooling rack for 5 minutes, slide the parchment paper from under the bread, and let it cool completely before slicing, about 2 hours. Enjoy!

Beef Stir Fry Noodles

Beef Stir Fry Noodles

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Yesterday we went to the Asian market on the way home after work, I bought few items to use in a new recipes I wanted to try.

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So tonight was a Chinese food night, but we did not order take out because I wanted to use some of the sauces I bought in my own homemade recipes!

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The beef stir-fry turned out delicious, the flavor of the sauce mixed with the vegetable and the meat was amazing.

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I paired it with delicious Chinese barbecue chicken, it was easy to make and it only took 40-45 minutes to get both dishes on the table, the same amount of time to get in the car and drive to pickup take out!

The stir fry dish could be made in to an absolutely delicious vegan dish by following the recipe,and substituting the beef with firm tofu.

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Stir-fry

.1 Lb. thin sirloin strips

.1 bag stir fry vegetable mix 9 oz.

.1 bag of frozen stir fry mixed bell pepper and onion 16 oz.

.3 cups button mushrooms

.1 jar stir fry sauce 11.4 oz.

.1 tbsp. cornstarch

.3 tbsp. vegetable oil

.1/2 can water chestnuts (freeze the other half-in zip top bag)

.1 bag fresh Chinese noodles 9.87 oz.

.1/2 cup water

.2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

.2 tbsp. dry slivered garlic

.1 tsp. sesame oil

.1 tbsp. soy sauce

.2 tbsp. toasted sesame (optional)

Chinese barbecue chicken

.4 large chicken thighs bone in

.4-5 tbsp. Chinese barbecue sauce

.1/2 cup of water

Preheat oven 420

Add chicken to baking sheet and brush on the barbecue sauce; add the water to the bottom of the baking pan around the chicken, bake for 45 minutes with continues brushing by dipping the brush in the sauce, in the baking pan, about 4 times.

In a medium bowl, mix cornstarch and 3 tbsp. of the stir-fry sauce, add the beef and with clean hands mix until the beef well covered.

In a large sauté pan or wok on high heat, add vegetable oil and sauté the beef in single layer, 1 minute on each side, remove, and set aside.

To the same pan / wok, add the bell pepper and onion mix, sauté until all the water evaporated.

Add the stir-fry mixed vegetable, whole button mushrooms and sauté for few minutes until all fork tender.

Add water chestnuts, cooked beef, and stir until all combined.

Add sesame oil, grated fresh ginger, dry slivered garlic, soy sauce, and the remaining stir-fry sauce, mix well.

Add fresh noodles, with a tong stir the noodles in to the vegetable and the sauce mixture, add water, and cook until noodles heated through.

Add toasted sesame if you like, and serve family style. Enjoy!

Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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I am on the roll these days with delicious side dishes, this one my mom made all the time growing up and I love it now as much as I loved it back then.

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It is easy, simple, and healthy, that is all I could say about it.

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This salad is perfect prepared a day before; the raw cabbage needs to marinade in the lemon juice and olive oil overnight or few hours before serving.

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.1 medium size green or red cabbage

.3 minced garlic cloves

.1/4 cup lemon juice

.1/4 cup olive oil

.1/2 tbsp. salt

.1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper

Remove the first 2 layers of the leaves, I find the first layers are not clean to use from being handled and touched by people at the store.

With a sharp knife, shred the cabbage in to thin slices making sure to remove the core and any hard rips, you could use a food processer and chop it but that’s another equipment to wash!!!

Add the shredded cabbage in to a large bowl, add lemon juice, salt, red crushed pepper, olive oil and minced garlic, with clean hands mix well until all combined.

Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for few hours or overnight.

Served with Beef Shawarma, chicken kebabs or any other meat dishes, or just by itself as a healthy lunch or dinner.

Tonight I paired it with grilled lemon chicken. Enjoy!

Corn-Bell Pepper Relish

Corn-Bell Pepper Relish

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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I had a leftover assorted bell pepper from the other day when I made a vegetable pizza and I wanted to use them before they expire, and I had a big bag of frozen corn, I normally buy big bags of frozen vegetables, it is cheaper that way!
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I had to come up with a quick side dish that will not take a long time to prepare, and a healthy one at the same time.IMG_5201

This dish turned out awesome, it was delicious and healthy as a side dish to any meal, and tonight I paired it with frozen readymade chicken patties, from the freezer to the oven, cannot get simpler than that…Just keeping it real here!

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Tonight I did not feel like cooking an entire meal, because I wanted to test a chocolate cake recipe I wrote the other day, and I did not want to be in the kitchen all night long after a busy day at the office…

I promise to post the cake recipe if it comes out the way I invasion it. 

.3 cups frozen corn

.1 cup chopped green bell pepper

.1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

.1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

.1 tbsp butter

.3 tbsp olive oil

.1/2 tbsp salt

.1/4 tbsp black pepper

.1/4 cup whipping cream

.2 medium shallots chopped

.1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

.1 tsp grated fresh ginger

.1 tsp lemon zest

In a large skillet over high heat, add olive oil and butter, add chopped shallots and the mixture of bell pepper, sauté for 2-3 minutes or until slightly brown.

Add salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, grated ginger, lemon zest and mix well.

Add corn and cook for 2 -3 minutes just to heat it through, add the whipping cream and cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

This recipe could be completely transformed in to vegan dish, by replacing the butter with coconut oil and the whipping cream with coconut milk, its equally delicious. Enjoy!

Vegetable Relish

Vegetable Relish

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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We have our favorite Mexican restaurant that we go to for our date nights dinner, hubby and I sometimes order fish tacos, and with it comes a delicious mix of sautéed vegetable.

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I created my own spin on the dish, and guess what he said my dish tasted better, I was very happy to hear that.

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I added garlic and lemon juice, it gave it a slight of freshness, and it did taste better than the restaurant version.

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I also added white wine; and once it was reduced, the flavor was amazing.

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It is such an easy and healthy dish to make at home, and it took no time at all to prepare it, it is truly an easy side dish to make for dinner on a busy weeknights.

.2 medium size Italian zucchini

.2 large zucchini

.3 large carrots peeled

.1 cup of fresh cut green beans

.1/2 tbsp. dry basil

.1/2 tbsp. salt

.1/4 tbsp. black pepper

.3 tbsp. olive oil

.2 cloves of minced garlic

.1/2 cup alcohol free white wine

.Juice of half a lemon

Wash and dry all the vegetable.

Cut both type of zucchinis and carrots lengthwise, turn, and cut to thin sticks.

Try to cut the vegetable in to the same size, in order for it to cook at the same time, but do not fuss over it.

On high heat, heat olive oil in large sauté pan, add carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Stir occasionally, add zucchini, cut green beans, salt, and cook until soft about 2-3 minutes.

Add garlic, dry basil, black pepper and cook for few seconds, add white wine, lemon juice and stir well, let it reduce uncovered for few minutes.

Serve with baked chicken or baked fish, Enjoy!